Sorbet actually predates ice cream by a thousand years and was originally comprised of snow, wine, and honey mixed together as a frozen treat. Towards the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo discovered a version that contained snow, juice and fruit pulp and so began sorbet’s long life on the culinary plate. In addition, it set off the frozen treat revolution with Italian Ices, Sherbets, and Snow Cones being introduced shortly after. Unlike ice cream, sorbet comes in non traditional flavors like olive oil, garlic, even celery and has been viewed as a healthier dessert option than other frozen treats. But is it really a smarter choice?
Sorbet is delicious, creamy and comes in just about any flavor you can imagine or desire. Because the ingredients are basic and don’t require any special processing you can even create your own! If not, sorbet is available in almost every frozen food section, with variations that allow for added fruit and cream.
It’s use as a pallet cleanser to prepare the taste buds for upcoming courses, or as a light dessert after dinner. Sorbet is a fat free food and can contain a small sampling of vitamins and minerals depending on the ingredients.
Sorbet is almost 100% sugar, and not much else. If real fruit is used instead of flavoring, it can provide marginal nutrition, but certainly not enough to be considered nutritious. About 1 cup of sorbet contains roughly 200 calories, so it’s fairly calorie dense and you need to keep a close eye on the amount you eat. Additionally, foods that are high in sugar like sorbet, can leave you feeling unsatisfied once the sugar rush dies off. It’s very easy to over-indulge!
As a replacement for ice cream, Sorbet is clearly the better choice of the two. It has no saturated fat or cholesterol, and more healthy versions are available that have real fruit and better nutritional profiles than the syrup flavored variety, Caution must be used however, as with most desserts, as the calories will add up quickly. Instead of eating Sorbet by itself, I recommend using it as a topping on other less calorie dense foods, like frozen fruit pieces, or even mixed with Sugar Free Jello.
Taste It Or Waste It?
I say… Taste It!